We aim to recount the history of popular struggles in Latin America along six axes, each split in four historical moments. The task of «classifying» struggles is as complex as it is unfair. Many important episodes were inevitably left out. Nevertheless, the different episodes we present offer snapshots of the hemisphere over time. At the same time, there are chronologies built along each axis, threads that begin with resistance against colonization and extend all the way to the valiant struggles against new forms of oppression in the present.
For this exhibit we brought together 24 Latin American artists. A random draw allowed them to pick their poster subject before going on to depict three historical characters representing struggles on a given axis in a certain historical period. With an assortment of styles an perspectives, the artists gave life to the diversity of efforts to build a better world. Breathing in this crowd is the joint dream of Latin American peoples: a sovereign hemisphere, built on equality and social justice.
Aldo Cruces (CUB)
Visual Communication graduate of the Havana Higher Institute of Design and co-founder of the «Dominio Cuba» communications project. Has taken part in several graphic projects from the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research, Leftword Books and the People’s Forum.
América Rodríguez (VEN)
Graphic designer, illustrator, writer and translator, Graphic Design graduate from the ULA University. Worked at the Ministry of Communes. Currenly works in the IBIME editorial house and the independent media outlet Investig’Action.
César Mosquera (VEN)
Illustrator, graphic designer, web designer, and short story writer. Has published the books La Noche de Prometeo, La Fiesta de los moribundos and El Pueblo donde Mataron a Dios. Won the 2018 National Journalism Prize in the graphic category.
Clara Cerqueira (BRA)
Writer, translator and teacher. Specializes in graphic narrative projects: comic books, artist books, independent publications and posters. Translator at the Multimedia Anthropology Lab. from University College London.
Daniela Castelly (VEN)
Visual artist, dancer and student at the UNEARTE university. Participated in the workshop-laboratory at the Jacobo Borges Museum and won the graphical category in the Juan Lovera room.
Daniel Duque (VEN)
Illustrator, cartoonist and graphic designer. Has published ten illustrated books at the Perro y la Rana publishing house. Has won the National Journalism Prize, the Alí Primera Illustration Prize and the El Convite en rayas contest.
Dariana Castellano (VEN)
Illustrator and designer with more than 8 years experience. Her subjects of interest are women and LGBTIQ+ struggles, alternative relationshio models and mysticism. Participated in the second edition of Pixeladas.
DS Lima (BRA)
Social teacher and visual artist, works with youths in the outskirts of Porto Alegre, Brazil, organizing design and muralism workshops. He’s a delegate of the Italo Grassi International Muralist Movement in Brazil.
Edio Gutiérrez (VEN)
Illustrator, screen printer, animator, graphic designer and muralist. Studied Integral Design at the National Experimental University of Yaracuy. Belongs to Aldea Zur and designs for Odio Clothing.
Freddy Agurto (CHI)
Illustrator and engraver from the new Chilean school of graphics. Has developed his work in both analogical and digital media. He studied Visual Arts specializing in engraving at the University of Concepción.
Greta Acosta (CUB)
Artista, diseñadora industrial e ilustradora, graduada del Instituto Superior de Diseño de La Habana. Ha participado en las exposiciones como Amor por (todos) los colores, Junio Diverso y Afiches Antiimperialistas, y en la muestra Pixeladas II.
Ingrid Neves (BRA)
Brazilian artist and designer, based in São Paulo. Member of the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research.
JM Hernández (VEN)
Graphic designer and filmmaker. Founding member of the Comando Creativo, former activist of the Francisco de Miranda Front. Served as creative director at the Ministry of Communes and the Correo del ALBA magazine.
Kael Abello (VEN)
Graphic designer, illustrator and Literature graduate. Founding member of Comando Creativo, served as creative director at the Ministry of Communes and represented Comando Creativo at the 55th edition of the Venice Biennale.
Kalia León (CUB)
Co-founder of the Dominio Cuba political communication project, Visual Communication professor at the Havana Higher Institute of Design and illustrator of the Alma Mater magazine.
Kimberly Barzola (PER-EE.UU.)
Peruvian-American visual artist, woodcutter, archivist and organizer based in Boston. Her work has featured in several Tricontinental Institute for Social Research exhibits.
Venezuelan urban artist and illustrator.
Illustrator and graphic designer. Graduate of the Antonio José de Sucre in Graphic Design. Currenly focused in designing comic books and drawing characters.
Óscar Coraspe (VEN)
Historian and graphic designer. He coordinated Image and Identity at the UNES University. Winner of the Fotolito Higher Prize and National Journalism Prize in the graphic category.
Pablo Kalaka (CHI)
Painter, muralist, illustrator and literature graduate. Has painted murals in Latin America, Europe and the United States and has organized exhibits in Caracas, Barcelona, Santiago de Chile and Minneapolis. Winner of the National Book and National Journalism prizes
Visual communicator, propagandist, muralist and silk-screen printer from Puente Alto, Chile. Funder of the Serigrafía Instantánea collective. Currently takes part of Kontrabando, a project that looks to put art and graphics at the service of society, bringing the audience closer to artists, their works and methodologies.
Samuel Schmidt (BRA)
Young 18 year-old artist with firm Marxist-Leninist beliefs. Sees art as a medium to broadcast the struggles of the oppressed and the revolutionary, socialist and marxist horizon he believes in.
Tulio Carapiá (BRA)
Illustrator and graphic designer from Salvador de Bahía. Has illustrated dozens of books, children’s books, newspapers and magazines. Won the Award of Excellence in the 30th edition of The Best of Newspaper Design and was a finalist in the ESSO Journalism Award.
Valentina Aguirre (VEN)
Illustrator and sculptor. Has illustrated the books Mensaje fariano and Guerrilleras. Her works have featured in the exhibits Ilustradores al Parque, Noble barro de la creación and Pixeladas. Winner of the National Journalism Prize, graphic category, in 2018.
From the Utopix team we developed a working manual to develop common guidelines for the challenge. One of the main obstacles we faced was bringing together an exhibit that looked coherent as a whole as opposoed to a constellation of bits and pieces. Therefore, and despite working with artists from different countries with a variety of styles, we managed to set up some technical, composition and thematic criteria that led us to a collective result that is much more than the sum of its pieces.
The works were always thought of as a collection of posters to be freely reproduced and spread. However, the challenge pivoted towards an exhibit in room #5 of the Cruz-Diez Print and Design Museum (MEDI) in Caracas. As such, once the artwork was done, the Utopix team in Venezuela had the task of printing them out.
The museum setup was conceived so that the posters built a common story. To that end, they were aligned in two different ways. Each thematic axis could be followed chronologically from one end of the room to the other. Alternative, each historical period could be understood in the breadth of the popular struggles. The colored lines which guided each axis along the floor in turn converged into a giant map of Latin America in the center of the room. This map then had extra content on current popular struggles in the continent that could be accessed via QR codes.
The «Memory and Struggle» exhibit opened on December 18, 2021 in the MEDI museum. Alongside the central exhibit with the 24 original posters, there was also a display of other Utopix works that had the same central theme of disputing the historical record.
The inaugural session, which gathered around 100 visitors, among them Venezuelan Culture Minister Ernesto Villegas, was an opportunity to present Utopix’s perspectives as well as discuss the role of an alternative graphic production in fighting back against hegemonic Western culture.
Memory and Struggle was made possible by the sheer will of our community, which brought their contributions from different fields in order to pay tribute to the men and women that have raised the banners of justice and equality throughout history.
This virtual exhibit is a way to take this project beyond its display in a museum room in Caracas. Nevertheless, we hope this exhibit can also transcend the digital realm and be useful for present-day struggles. If you, or a collective you’re a part of, is interested in organizing an event with the artwork or printing out the posters, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.